Selma declares annual honor for civil rights activist Reese

SELMA, Ala. (AP) – A city in Alabama will honor a prominent civil rights activist by naming him a day.

Selma City Council has decided to declare that March 15 will be FD Reese Day in the city from now on, the Selma Times Journal reported.

Fredrick Douglas Reese was 88 years old when he died in 2018. He was part of the “Courageous Eight,” which played a key role in inviting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Selma to join the struggle to ensure voting for all.

The works of Reese and his colleagues led to the Selma to Montgomery marches and ultimately to the passage of the 1965 Suffrage Act.

Reese was born and raised in Selma and became an influential educator and pastor.

The idea to call March 15th FD Reese Day came from Selma Councilor Lesia James.

“You know the contributions Dr. FD Reese made not just to the Selma community but to the world,” said Billy Young, president of Selma City Council. “Thank you Councilor James for leading this effort.”

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. said he was “hippopotamus happy” and “peacock proud” to sign the proposal.

“This is a special day and long overdue,” said Perkins.

In 2013, Selma City Council was renamed Legrande Street in honor of Reese.

“I have the feeling that it is a great honor when a street is named after me,” Reese said at the time. “I don’t think I deserve all of this.”

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